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chase 4

Great success with Hills J/D dog food

Hi my name is Melissa and I have been large animal technician at All West for 6 years. While horses are a huge part of my life, I’m also an avid dog lover and have a slight obsession with German shorthaired pointers. I have three of my own, Chase who is 11 years old, Dylan, 7yrs and Oak, 5yrs. True to form, they all have an abundance of energy and like to go, go, go all day long. Luckily I have a lot of land for them to do so on and they revel in running and hunting and exploring it day in and day out. The oldest one, Chase, has been non-stop since the day he was born. Even as a small pup he was catapulting off stairs and taking on feats far beyond his size but that didn’t stop him and he has yet to stop, even as an old man. Due to his curious nature, he had an unfortunate run in with a porcupine several years ago and he got stung in the front leg requiring surgical removal of the quills, a few of which had gotten into his joint. Dr. Dan Butterfield got them all removed and had him back on the go in no time but over time, he has developed arthritis in that leg and had become quite sore on it in the last year, especially after a long day of play. Years of hard use on all of his joints had also started to take its toll and he was getting increasingly stiff in the mornings. For the first time, I saw him start to slow down and it was really hard to watch him limp and be sore. I started him on the joint supplement, Dasuquin with MSM, and that definitely helped if I used it at the high dosage but there were still days where I would also have to use a NSAID to keep him comfortable. About 2 months ago I was encouraged to try a new dog food made by Hills called J/D that is specially formulated for joint disease in dogs. Our Hills representative reported that they have had a lot of success with this food for dogs with joint issues. Her opinion was that the dogs would no longer need supplements once they were on this food. I doubted that I would be able to maintain Chase’s soundness on the food alone but I agreed to try it. I kept him on a lower dose of Dasuquin for the first couple weeks of using the J/D diet but he was doing so well, I decided to discontinue all the supplements and Chase is doing amazing! He is completely sound and runs and goes now as much as he did as a young dog, in fact he usually is still going when my two younger ones have already passed out for the night. I’m truly amazed at how well he is doing and feel the Hills J/D diet has been a huge part of his transformation. I would recommend this food to absolutely anyone who has a dog that needs some joint support, your dog will thank you!

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Extensor Tendon Lacerations

Meet Risky. She is one of my all time favorite patients. Risky is a 12 year old Morgan mare who I met in August of 2013 when she likely took a risk trying to get to some greener grass on the far side of a fence and wound up with a couple of pretty good lacerations on her hindlimb.

When Risky came to the hospital it was clear that she had completely transected both her long digital extensor and lateral digital extensor tendon. The job of these muscles and associated tendons is to extend the toe, which prevents the horse from knuckling over at the fetlock joint. Without these tendons, Risky was having difficulty placing her foot and walking, and really had to hobble in on three limbs. In addition to the tendon injuries, Risky’s wound was several hours old at the time she was found and so it was a bloody, contaminated mess.

As bad as it looks, Risky was really lucky for a couple of reasons. First, the wound was located on the dorsal, or front aspect of the limb. Had the injury happened on the plantar, or back side of the limb, our chances of saving her would have been much, much lower. The other thing Risky had going for her was that her wounds were not near a joint. Joint infections in horses are very serious and potentially life-threatening, any time a laceration occurs near a joint, it should be looked at by a veterinarian right away.

Risky was initially treated with a wet to dry pressure bandage to debride the wound and bring down the inflammation. She was also started on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Several types of splints were used until we found one that was comfortable for Risky that she walked well with and tolerated well. Risky’s wound was also treated with PRP – platelet rich plasma – which is a regenerative medicine that involves harvesting a small amount of Risky’s blood then concentrating some components of it that may aid in wound healing and applying it directly to the wound.

Little by little, we saw improvement with her wound. The most important thing Risky needs is simply time to allow her tendons to scar down so that her limb functions normally and for the skin to close.

Risky’s owners have been extremely committed to her care and have been very diligent in the wound cleaning and bandaging, managing Risky’s periods of exercise and confinement, and keeping her a happy horse until she can go back to her normal routine with her herdmates.

Although Risky will always have a couple of scars, we expect her to make a complete and full recovery. We look forward to seeing Risky being ridden this summer! See our facebook page for more photos and check back for updates on her progress.

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Learn about raw and fad diets from our technician Krystle!

Hello everyone! My name is Krystle Ashley and I am one of the small animal technicians here at All West Veterinary. I am coming up on 5 years with the hospital and I have learned a lot through my years. When I started at All West I was given the task of ordering our dog and cat foods and this is where my interest in small animal nutrition started to blossom. I have done my share of research along with attending a seminar covering the facts and myths surrounding the food we feed our beloved pets. I would like to share with you today some of those myths and facts. Recently certain food trends have popped up including raw food diets, grain-free diets, no by-products, meat as the first ingredient and so on and so forth. But you should always keep in mind; when searching for a proper food to feed your pet it is always a good idea to discuss with your veterinarian what diet is best for your pet and try to stick to well known brands that have been around a long time.

Myth 1: Raw foods are great for your pet! They help them live longer and are closer to what they eat in the wild.
Fact: Feeding raw meat, eggs and bones can be dangerous for your pet because of the excessive levels of nutrients like protein, calcium and phosphorus. Raw diets also increase the risk of fractured teeth, gastrointestinal perforation and exposing your pet, yourself and your family to E. Coli and Salmonella. Also, many times raw diets are not balanced for your pet’s specific needs. Recent research shows that some of the changes in digestion between wolves and dogs were a crucial step in the early domestication of dogs. Wolves in the wild, which typically only live for a few years, eat foods that are not optimal for pets that we hope will live long and healthy lives.

Myth 2: By-products are bad, low quality ingredients.
Fact: Many by-products are excellent sources of nutrients for pets. With extremely rare exceptions, all pet foods contain by-products. A by-product is simply something produced in the making of something else. For example, Vitamin E is a by-product of soybeans. By-product meal includes highly nutritious organ meats, such as liver, kidney and heart. When you see a package saying by-product next to an ingredient, don’t just assume the worst.

Myth 3: Grain-free pet foods are better for all pets and corn is just a filler.
Fact: There is no nutritional foundation to support a grain-free diet, and foods that have grains are just as digestible as grain-free foods. The term “grain-free” is misleading, as all grain-free foods contain carbohydrates from other sources such as sweet potato which has more carbohydrates than corn. Corn is not a filler and is a nutritionally superior grain compared to others used in pet foods. Corn is also highly digestible when cooked. Many people are also turned off from corn with the concern that it is an allergen; however, most allergies are related to beef, dairy, wheat and fish.

Myth 4: Meat-first foods are better.
Fact: Healthy pets need nutrients and complete balance of amino acids from both meat and non-meat sources. Meat is not the only source of protein available, either. Other ingredients like corn can provide proteins as well. Just because the meat isn’t listed as the first ingredient doesn’t mean that it is not a large part of the makeup of that diet.

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Sammy and Allison – The Welcoming Committee!

Hi, my name is Allison Cruz. I have worked as a receptionist for All West Veterinary Hospital for 9 months. My favorite part of this job is greeting the clients and their pets.

I had the pleasure of having my Queensland heeler, Sammy, come in for an office visit to see Dr. Brooke Trey. Sammy loved everybody here, mostly because they gave her love and cookies. During the exam, Dr. Brooke recommended that Sammy have her teeth cleaned in the near future. She showed me the tartar buildup on Sammy’s canine and molar teeth as well as gum inflammation. We scheduled a dental cleaning for the next day.

I brought Sammy in bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 9 o’clock the next morning. Sammy did not get breakfast that morning since she would be put under anesthesia so she was much more bushy-tailed than normal. Dr. Brooke cleaned her teeth in a short amount of time and Sammy woke up without any complications. Her teeth were white and clean again.

Dental care is extremely important for pets. It is never too early to start preventative oral care for your pets! Since Sammy’s visit, I have started giving her C.E.T chews, which help to break off tartar buildup, and I brush her teeth regularly with enzymatic pet toothpaste. We offer these products, along with the T/D Science Diet food that was designed for oral care, in the reception area of the hospital. We look forward to seeing you and your pets at All West soon!

Ski Jore Jump

Ski-Jore at the 320 Ranch!

Melissa and her horse, Amity, with her partner, Emily

Melissa and her horse, Amity, with her partner, Emily

There were big jumps and sharp turns on the course!

There were big jumps and sharp turns on the course!

The 320 Ranch held their annual Ski-Jore event last weekend in Big Sky. It is a great event that brings together equine and human athletes to maneuver a snowy course of poles and jumps while making a run for the fastest time. Skiers are towed behind horses, and All West technician Melissa “Mo” competed in the event for the first time this year with her horse Amity and her friend Emily. They did a great job and everyone involved had a lot of fun. Dr. Jeneé was on hand to provide care for the horses if needed.

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Welcome to our site from Gayle!

I would like to thank Tyler Wantulok for constructing our new web site. I would also like to send a HUGE thank you to Dr Jeneé Daws (our new equine veterinarian) for all the work she did inputting and organizing the information. Please enjoy the new look!


Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to the AWVH blog page!  Each week, an employee at All West will write a blog post giving you some insight to what life is like here at the hospital.  Sometimes it will be our favorite, miraculous cases we have seen.  Other times it will be explaining what is involved in the day to day life of a technician or veterinarian at our hospital.  And every now and then we will try to throw in a fun learning case!  We hope you check back often!


Farewell Chelsi!

This month AWVH has to say goodbye to one of our wonderful technicians, Chelsi Jones.  Chelsi will be moving out of the area in January.  She has been with us for the past two years and she will truly be impossible to replace.

Chelsi comes to work with a smile on her face every day.  She has a tireless work ethic and she is fantastic at patient care.  She always gives her best effort, and is a friendly and comforting face for many of our clients.  We will really miss Chelsi, and we wish her all the best in the next chapter of her life!

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